Museums and cultural institutions of all sizes and budgets are striving to remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape. This volume looks at organizations that have challenged the preconceived notions about their site and its mission by working to break into new markets and develop unexpected programs for diverse and previously untapped audiences. To address this challenge, several western New York sites developed new programs to impact their visitor engagement. History Where You Least Expect It Site-based Strategies for Teaching about the Past features programs like learning from gingerbread, playing vintage games, developing a theatrical production from places like science museums, archives, historic houses, nature centers, and cemeteries to illustrate how history can be conveyed in the most unlikely ways. While other works exist that have examined educational pedagogy and programming according to museum type, History Where You Least Expect It Site-based Strategies for Teaching about the Past explores history through the lens of a specific program. This volume highlights how museum programming, object-based learning, and site-specific education can impact learning for people of all ages. In each chapter, the reader is walked through the development, implementation, and successes of the organization's programs, allowing practitioners the ability to learn from the work of others in order to build a successful program for themselves. While the featured institutions are regionally linked, the overarching goal of experiencing History Where You Least Expect It can be replicated across the globe.
About the Author
Jill M. Gradwell is Professor, SUNY Buffalo State. Kathryn H. Leacock is Director of Collections at the Buffalo Museum of Science.